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Knowledge and practice regarding menstrual hygiene management among the Rohingya refugee adolescent girls in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh: a mixed method study

Shagoofa Rakhshanda (Public Health Sciences Department, Centre for Injury Prevention and Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Sahlil Ahmed (Sociology Department, The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA)
Samuel Saidu (College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, The University of Sierra Leone, Freetown, Sierra Leone)
Christine Nderitu (Population Services International, Nairobi, Kenya)
Basanta Thapa (Community Empowerment for Health Promotion Program (CEHP), Nepal Red Cross Society, Nepalgunj, Nepal)
Abdul Awal (James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH), BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Nadia Farnaz (James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH), BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Atiya Rahman (James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH), BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Bachera Aktar (The Center of Excellence for Gender, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (CGSRHR), James P Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh)
A.S.G. Faruque (International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh)

International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare

ISSN: 2056-4902

Article publication date: 15 May 2021

Issue publication date: 25 October 2021

208

Abstract

Purpose

About half of the 16% adolescents in the world experience menstruation. Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) is a health concern and challenge especially in humanitarian situations as experienced by Myanmar Rohingya refugees living in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. This study aims to assess knowledge, practice and influencing factors for MHM among Rohingya refugee adolescent girls of 14–18 years.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used both quantitative (a cross-sectional survey with 340 adolescent girls through a structured questionnaire) and qualitative (7 in-depth interviews with adolescent girls and 2 focus group discussions with the mothers) approaches. Quantitative data, analyzed using STATA version 13.0, were supported by qualitative data, grouped into themes and presented as matrix.

Findings

Around 51% adolescent girls learned about menstruation after menarche, at the mean age of 12 years, from their mothers and older sisters. About 75% used sanitary pads as absorbents which they got mostly as relief material or bought from local stores (83%); the rest used cloths and other materials (25%). About 57% of the respondents disposed of their absorbent by burying. Those who used reusable absorbents washed them with soap and water (40%) and mostly dried them indoors (17%). Factors influencing healthy MHM practice included the use of absorbent, privacy, disposal, washing and drying of clothes, physical activities, hygiene and pain management. Adolescents with secondary or higher education were four times more likely to have better MHM practice (odds ratio = 4.27; confidence interval = 1.19–15.31) than those with no formal schooling.

Originality/value

This paper is based on a research undertaken as part of academic requirement.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Genuine gratitude is due to students’ research guiding team at BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH), BRAC University, Bangladesh for its support, guidance and constant inspiration. Thanks to our academic peers for offering a helping hand in emergency situations. Foremost, gratitude is because of the data source for their honest and sincere cooperation.DeclarationFunding: The study was undertaken as part of academic exercise during Master of Public Health, which was self-funded.Competing Interest: Authors declare that they have no competing interest.

Citation

Rakhshanda, S., Ahmed, S., Saidu, S., Nderitu, C., Thapa, B., Awal, A., Farnaz, N., Rahman, A., Aktar, B. and Faruque, A.S.G. (2021), "Knowledge and practice regarding menstrual hygiene management among the Rohingya refugee adolescent girls in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh: a mixed method study", International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, Vol. 14 No. 4, pp. 311-326. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHRH-10-2020-0096

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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